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Agriculture, the cultivation of plants, trees, and animals on substantial parcels of land to harvest crops, recurs frequently as a motif throughout Victorian literature. Although the numbers of British people reporting their occupation as farming decreased as industrialization accelerated and farmers adopted less labor-intensive practices producing higher short-term yields (Bloy 2002), the archetype of Britons tilling the land remained compelling as literary iconography. Victorian agricultural writing by women comprised nostalgic idylls, grim portrayals of rural drudgery and poverty, and more nuanced realist portraits, through a variety of genres including poetry, fiction, memoir, and instructional manuals.


In the context of intensifying urbanization and mass production, many Victorian authors whose primary focus was middle-class professionals associated farms and gardens with the larger category of nature. Although farms are by definition man-made, Romantic and...


  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture
  • Farms
  • Farming
  • Gardens
  • Gardening
  • Idyll
  • Romanticism
  • Realism
  • Langham Group
  • New Woman
  • Domestic literature
  • Poetry
  • Memoir
  • Novel
  • Journalism
  • Industrialization

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Correspondence to Jane Weiss .

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Weiss, J. (2021). Agriculture. In: The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Victorian Women's Writing. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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